From Mentorship to Business Partnership: How to Land a Million Dollar Investor

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Today’s business partners Ivan Kroshnyi and Igor Kucheryavyi, the founder of Kucher ECO, will share their recipe for a successful partnership. Ivan’s mentorship program helped take the sustainable transportation business from the familiar OLX platform to a whole new level and achieve international success under the Kucher ECO brand.

Hello Ivan! Could you tell us how long you have been investing? What was your investment journey and why did you finally decide to invest in a green transportation startup?

Have a good day! From an early age, I realized that in order to have a stable and secure life, I had to invest money in promising projects that maximize capital and generate passive income. That’s why I started investing when I was 16 and got a taste of the first real money I made selling computer hardware.

Initially, I invested in stock and forex markets. Gradually, I built both my portfolio of investments and assets, slowly expanding the list of those assets. Besides the stock market, I founded an investment fund that we are currently developing with our partners in the Czech Republic. We invest in projects related to real estate development. This is something I’ve been doing for over 3 years now.

On top of that, we have investments in the UAE. As an investor, I developed a chain of restaurants jointly with my partner after moving to Dubai.

There are several reasons why I chose an e-bike doghouse. For starters, it’s a very dynamic market with giant growth potential. There are plenty of gas-powered bicycles in the world. This segment will, however, switch to electric motors over time, as it is an environmentally sound and economically feasible decision for consumers. This niche holds great promise as the world tries to move away from harmful emissions and switch to safer and more environmentally friendly means of transportation.

How did you and Igor meet? What was the situation of the green transport company at the time? How much money was needed and for what?

Igor joined my mentorship program. The company was already in business at the time. There was a small production and sales. He needed money to expand the product line, expand the business and conquer new markets. It was also necessary to increase production volumes because the product was already in demand. The company needed money for working capital and to set up the logistics between the manufacturer and the end consumers.

The overall investment amounts to just over one million dollars for 1 year. So $1,200,000 was the first scaling step.

Why did Kucher ECO catch your investor’s attention? Have you also considered other projects in this industry?

Igor was very specific and serious about numbers and his project plans. That’s how I realized it appealed to me from a mentorship perspective. Before making a final decision to invest, I obviously checked other market players who operate in the same niche. It was then that I knew that Igor had clear advantages. Its eco-bikes and e-bikes had a very well-designed battery charging system. With high power reserve and excellent speed performance which plays a major role when it comes to electric vehicles, Igor’s products stood out among other similar models. Additionally, Igor had an excellent line of products ranging from bicycles to elaborate electric motorcycles.

Igor, we have a question for you. Could you tell us more about the evolution of your business, your search for investors and your eventual decision to seek the mentorship of Ivan Kroshnyi?

I used to resell off-the-shelf e-bikes using the OLX Platform. I brought products from Kazakhstan and Moscow, being able to sell about 70 pieces per month.

Seeing the growing demand for green vehicles, including eco-bikes, I went to China to explore and get a feel for the existing market. However, I quickly realized that the models available on the market showed a very low power reserve and low speed. So I decided to design my own more powerful e-bike.

I chose several suitable models and rebuilt them by refining the motor and replacing the battery with a more powerful one. Thanks to these new improved features, I was able to sell the products within the first month of my return to Ukraine.

Other than that, I was working on my e-bike business. I noticed that there was huge traffic potential in terms of alloy wheel models. But again, there was a problem with that. There were no high quality products made to last. I knew they would also need some fine-tuning before we could hit the market with a high-quality, competitive new product. That’s when I knew I needed an investor.

I raised my first investments using regular message boards. I managed to get $100,000 to start bicycle production. That being said, all of the EV sales were sold before the product reached Ukraine. Investments were insufficient. It was then that I met Ivan Kroshnyi.

For me, the most important thing back then was not just getting money, but also getting relevant business experience and improving my critical business thinking. That’s why I needed a mentor and a more seasoned partner who would bring his expertise that I lacked myself. Ivan was exactly that kind of person.

Ivan admitted that the niche and the products are indeed very promising and have strong potential for growth in the coming decades. Even though we didn’t partner until six months later, Ivan mentored me the whole time. Thanks to his invaluable advice and ideas, I was able to obtain many useful tools for attracting investment and I started to feel more confident when interacting in person with potential investors.

To put things into perspective for you, before I got to know Ivan, I had about 200 meetings with potential investors, but I was not happy with the outcome at all. After completing the mentorship program, I was able to get the necessary investment and start a full-fledged project after just 4 meetings.

How is Kucher ECO doing at the moment? How did you use the investment and what do you plan to do next?

Ivan and I have been cooperating for six months now. We established a company in Dubai and Ivan registered the Kucher ECO brand. We also launched a store with a whole new line of top quality products in Indonesia.

A total of 30 stores, including 25 partner stores offering environmentally friendly vehicles, are now open. We continue to explore various cooperation options with entrepreneurs who wish to operate in the same niche alongside us.

We are already planning to open a store in Dubai, build a factory for the production of our eco-bikes in Indonesia and reach $10 million in sales in 2022.

To summarize, we would like to know the opinion of Ivan. Many people think that this type of partnership, especially with an involved investor, is less profitable because they are afraid to let go of control of the company. As someone with extensive experience in both partnerships and investing, what are your personal thoughts? Do you have any advice for new entrepreneurs?

For me, partnership is not about losing control. It’s quite the opposite. It’s lucky for you to have a strong like-minded ally by your side. Someone who will be ready to grow the business with you, to invest their resources, their ideas and their relationships. So I think partnership is more of a way to improve business and create synergy.

For my part, I manage practically all my businesses in partnership. This makes me stronger while ensuring a faster evolution of the company. However, you have to be very careful when choosing the right partners. Their values ​​and principles, as well as their abilities, must align with yours for the joint enterprise to thrive. So, as an investor, I make sure to contribute more than money to every project I invest in. I use all available connections, team management experience and business development ideas.

When attracting partners or finding investors for your project, you need to be on the lookout for strong, experienced mentors who can help you develop a successful business model and address issues within their purview at every stage of implementation. enterprise-wide. A person who will be able to guide you properly while giving you and your business the necessary boost. Someone who will help you reach your goals much faster without any major mishaps along the way.

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